Endotracheal cryotherapy in the treatment of refractory airway strictures

Ann Thorac Surg. 1983 Jan;35(1):52-7. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(10)61431-2.


In 1977 we reported the successful use of endotracheal cryotherapy in the treatment of experimental tracheal strictures. This technique has now been employed in the treatment of 29 refractory airway lesions in 27 patients ranging in age from 3 months to 42 years. The technique utilizes a nitrous oxide cryoprobe measuring 3 mm in diameter and 43 cm in length. The tip of the probe is applied directly to the stricture through the endoscope and cooled to -80 degrees C for 45 seconds. On removal of the probe, the frozen tissue is resected with biopsy forceps. Cryotherapy has successfully relieved the airway strictures in 20 of the 24 lesions in which treatment was completed. The technique of endotracheal cryotherapy has proved helpful in the management of selected patients with refractory airway strictures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bronchial Diseases / therapy*
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Cryosurgery*
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Female
  • Glottis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Laryngostenosis / therapy*
  • Male
  • Nitrous Oxide / therapeutic use
  • Tracheal Stenosis / therapy*
  • Tracheotomy / adverse effects
  • Xeroradiography


  • Nitrous Oxide